OT. Courier business


I am thinking of starting a courier business. I live out in the middle of nowhere, no big cities around, but there is a large railroad in the area. I know they expedite things weekly to and from other cities. My question is, do any of you know a person in the courier business, or have any suggestions about where to find info. I have googled it, but not much real help out there. This would basically be 3/4 full sized van transport, not big city paper work courier stuff. Thanks in advance
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Have you tried making contact with repo people, I hear they have people in almost every city.
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nefletch wrote:

That is a business that I have worked in.
My experience is that this relates mainly to cities and busy nearby suburbs. So, I think so far that you have to know the cities and near-to-city busy areas, and spread your word to them.
There is another line of work opportunity that I have heard of (I suspect some chance as "independent contractor" rather than "employee"):
Driving rental trucks against trends of 1-way moves that correspond to population shifts.
For that one: Have a vehicle that you can drive in a cost-effective and time-effective manner, but also able to be transported by rental trucks, typically a motorcycle plus motorcycle-transportable means to keep it upright ("rubber side down") or at least in a storage orientation that it can take, especially by the motorcycle's battery.
Otherwise, make your own long-distance vehicle a bike without a motor, and live cheaply enough to spend a lot of time riding your bike uselessly to clients. (At 2,600-4,000 feet in elevation on some rural mountainish slope in Arizona close enough to Phoenix to do grocery shopping every week or two or 3 when you have a truck to drive?)
How this works: Drive rental trucks against 1-way rental flows, with your bike in the truck. Then, ride your bike back from a city losing rental trucks to one gaining them from 1-way moves.
This job that I have heard of sounds to me like an "independent contractor" one. For USA Federal taxation of such as a sole proprietor of a business, you file along with 1040 a "Schedule C" (profit or loss from business or profession) and a "Scedule SE" (social security tax by self-employed, with self-employed paying both employer and employee share).
As mobile as such a self-employed person would be here, such person is advised to research states, counties and municipalities for advantages such as lower living costs including lower to nonexistent taxation of "sole proprietor" business income beyond preferably-lower taxation of personal income that "business income" contributes to.
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On 9/13/2010 11:26 PM, nefletch wrote:

Doing it old-school, off the books, as just a good old boy with a truck that does odd jobs, may or may not be possible in your area. In more nannyish areas, you are looking at getting a business license, a bond, a hauling license from whoever regulates for-hire trucking in your area, special insurance, and so on and so on. If you have a storefront, which many areas require for a licensed business, you have all the paper work required for that. Around here, the state-level secretary of state is the focal point for most licensing stuff for a business, but the local govt also has their hand in, palm up. The model would be a owner-operator semi truck driver who gets his own loads, since that is basically what you would be doing on a very small scale.
Other than individuals and companies run as sole good-old-boy proprietorships, most people won't trust a gypsy hauler for insurance reasons. What if the stuff they entrust you with grows legs, or somehow injures somebody? What if a paying customer is waiting on whatever you are hauling? If they don't have an employee to haul it, they want somebody that can get sued if there are problems.
Standard disclaimer- IANAL, or an insurance agent, and local laws and customs vary. Areas I am familiar with make a distinction between hauling as an adjunct to other duties and services provided as an employee or subcontractor, and hauling as a common carrier. The latter is a lot more tightly regulated.
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Depending of the size of the truck, he also have to get a Commerical Drivers license.
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I think you have a lot of research to do. Commercial trucking is regulated by the state. Given the size of the van you are talking about, you won't need a CDL, but the van must have commercial tags and registration and proper insurance. Check your state DOT for starters.
You will want liability insurance for lost and damaged product. Large truckers have a $1million plus.
You may have ICC regulations to follow. Gas taxes to report.
Most important, you need a customer base. Have you looked into what the need is? Is there a specific area you will cover? Are there businesses that need fast service?
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